Everyday Champion - Melissa Peck

Oct. 19, 2009

Since her arrival at Oregon State, senior midfielder Melissa Peck has played in nearly every contest for the OSU women's soccer team. A native of Boise, Idaho, Peck has helped lead a resurgence in the women's soccer program as Oregon State is within striking distance of qualifying for the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the second time in school history. During her career, Peck has played in nearly 80 contests and has registered 11 goals, eight assists and 30 points for the Beavers.

Her success doesn't end on the field; however, as the senior is a two-time academic All Pac-10 Conference selection. A communications major, Peck hopes to start a career in the sports marketing field following graduation.

As this week's 'Everyday Champion,' Peck took some time to sit down with osubeavers.com to discuss her playing career and future.

Talk a little about the recruiting process...
I chose Oregon State for many reasons. One being, I knew I wanted to leave Idaho and go somewhere new, to get a new experience. When I came on my recruiting trip it was very welcoming. I liked the coaching style of the team and I love the Pacific Northwest. I knew I would be taken care of here.

What surprised you about OSU once you got here? What kind of adjustments did you have to make in college that were different from high school?
The basic adjustment, especially on the soccer side of things, was just a higher intensity and more competitive atmosphere. The Pac-10 for women's soccer is the most competitive conference in the United States. Every team you face will be a hard fought battle and a challenge.

How much have you changed as a person since your freshman year?
In my four years here at Oregon State, I've changed tremendously. I've matured a lot and learned how to manage my time better. I've become more disciplined in my studies and learned how to balance being a student-athlete with other things.

What does a scholarship mean to you?
My scholarship means a lot to me. I'm very grateful to have it, because I wouldn't be here today without it. I'd probably be back home in Idaho attending school. It's given me a world of opportunities.

What lies ahead for you after graduation?
After college I plan to possibly work for Nike or somewhere else in the sports industry or sports marketing field.

Has anybody at Oregon State really helped you throughout your career?
A person that has helped me through my college years here has probably been one of my best friends, Ashley Kerekanich. She's a swimmer here and we are on the same schedule. We both had to learn to balance school with our sport.

Who are some of the most influential people you've met since starting at Oregon State that can help you out down the road in your life?
One of the opportunities I've been grateful for is playing semi-pro soccer this summer for the Ventura Fusion. I made a lot of connections to some very important people there. It was a great experience and a great opportunity for me, one I likely would not have had if I did not come to Oregon State.

What's it like playing for Linus Rhode (head coach)?
It's been a privilege to play for Coach Rhode these past few years. He's our new head coach now and he used to be our assistant coach. He has really stepped up into the head coach position and has done a great job with us. We're 9-4-1 right now and just that he believes in us as a team helps a bunch.

Why did you pick communications as your major?
I chose to be communications major because I thought it fit me pretty well. I love interacting with people and I think it will help me with my future endeavors.

Talk a little bit about being successful in school while being a student athlete...
Being able to balance being a student and an athlete has been a difficult task, but with help from my advisors and my coaches, I've been able to manage my time.

Will you stay connected to Oregon State after you graduate?
I hope to stay connected once I leave Oregon State. It's been a big part of my life and I hope to come back and watch the football and soccer games. I definitely want to stay involved with athletics.

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